Well, who are you people?

It was a distraction.

One minute I was looking at three people holding two of the freighter crew hostage, then next I was watching the three disintegrate into a matter stream, and disappear.

It was not possible, and yet I saw it with my own eyes.

I pressed the transmit button on my communicator and said, “What the hell was what?”

“A ship, twice the size of this vessel, came out of nowhere, appeared on screen for about a minute and then disappeared.”

“Along with our friends over here. They just dematerialised. It seems they can transport people whereas we can only transfer matter. On a good day.”

Another voice came over the freighter’s internal communications system, “Cargo supervisor to captain, it seems we have just lost a container of plutonium fuel rods, sir.”

“Did you hear that, sir?” I said.

“Those would be the rods needed on Venus we were sent to pick up. Without them, they’re about to go offline. Get back here now, we now have a humanitarian rescue mission. Out.”

I looked over at Myrtle. “We have to leave, I’ll be along in a minute.”

I walked over to Jacko who was looking far more relieved now he didn’t had a space gun being held to his head. “How did you get to be hauling Plutonium?”

“Only ship available, I guess. Freighters are stretched thin with this new building program on the outer planets. Can you call up head office and tell them we need repairs.”

“No comms?”

“No anything at the moment, except life support, and that’s likely to become a problem if they take their time. You know how it is.”

I did. Repairs never seemed to be a priority, not considering how much a ship cost.

“I’ll get the captain to get space command to put a rocket up them. Any idea who those people were?”

“Not any of us I reckon. I think we’ve just made first contact with a new species. And if they know what they can do with the plutonium, things might get a little interesting out here.”

Interesting indeed.


© Charles Heath 2001

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